A very interesting (as usual) post from Joerg Colberg on Gregory Crewdson’s new work. I went to the opening, my friend scanned the show and I was excited to see how the raw images came together. I was torn about them, while they are certainly very accomplished, I felt disappointed at their lack of new ground. In some ways they were less produced than his last show. I could see that he was trying to capture the feeling of a rust-belt town, which has a very different look than his usual middle class suburb. I appreciate Joerg’s sentiments about our culture’s voracious appetite for newness. We do seem to focus on always wanting the next thing even when there is nothing wrong with what we have. But in the case of Crewdson, I would have liked to see a new visual or conceptual idea. This is an artist who helped to transform the look and process of contemporary photo practice. So I would hope that he would continue to innovate. His images seem to be more about meeting the demands of the current art market, then about anything else. I really can only remember one image from the show. I don’t think artists have to constantly be doing the ‘next’ thing or re-inventing themselves, but they should not rest on their laurels either. And yes some artists work in the same mode for years to create a long term body of work with great meaning. It is something to consider. You have to give Robert Frank credit for moving on to experimental film and art rather than repeating himself. His later work may not be as good as his masterwork “The Americans,” but it takes risks and is unafraid of failure.

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